However, just like any other ambition, being a producer requires intense focus and hard work. The same can be said in any creative field. Knowing that the music industry is saturated by young and tech-savvy talents and entrepreneurs, you need to know your way around the arena and acquire experience as you go along. The process doesn’t happen in an instant, but there are ways that can help you thrive as a record producer:
1. Hone your musical skills
Music producers start off as musicians. Knowing how to play at least one instrument is important since you need to have a good grasp of the basics before you can even begin to create tracks and entire albums. You only need to improve your skills and learn other instruments. There are several online tutorials you can watch.
Still, you don’t need to master all the instruments and theories just to create great music. You just have to develop a desire to learn more about your field, apply what you already know, and venture outside your comfort zone.
2. Know what makes great music
The best part about a song (as with any work of art) is that you only need to feel it in order to appreciate it. What many people don’t realize is that there are principles and techniques involved in the production of noteworthy music. From Beethoven Fifth to Adele’s “Hello”, great music is not a product of spontaneity (at least, to a certain extent). You will need to listen to masterpieces and learn what makes them great. That way, it will be easier for you to gain exposure and develop your creative prowess as a record producer.
3. Be bold enough to break barriers
Music keeps evolving and with every disruption comes an opportunity to expand the playing field. When Elvis Presley rose to fame, he was met with scorn from conservative groups who called his style of music scandalous. Years later, his legacy inspired another generation of artists who also inspired other talents as well. Your success in the music industry doesn’t depend on your taste in music alone. It also relies on your capacity for experimentation. After all, a record producer is also an artist who wants to bring something new to the table.
4. Know your tools
As a record producer, you work with various hardware and software that are integral to the creative process. Even if you call yourself a classical musician, you need to know the various you can use to blend and render tracks you can end up with clean and crisp outputs. The most basic component of your record production arsenal is a software known as a digital audio workstation.
This allows you to mix and match different recordings and add certain effects and enhancements on each track. Aside from this, you also need to install editing software, purchase audio equipment, and set up a recording booth. Building your own makeshift studio doesn’t require a master of science degree to pull off. You just have to get help from people who will want to see you succeed in the music industry.
5. Grow your network
In the music industry, no man is an island. After all, artists need each other to survive, so as a record producer, it’s important to connect with other people who have the same passion as you. Although networking is about finding the best business opportunities, you also need to develop contacts with local artists, business owners, and cultural communities.
One way you can grow your network is to join events such as cultural expositions and local gigs where you can scout for talents who are willing to collaborate. You can also look for social media groups where you can meet up with independent record producers and find affordable second hand production equipment you can use. By growing your network, you get to build a strong support system that helps you accomplish your long-term goals.
6. Stay inspired
At the end of the day, your success as a record producer will depend on how passionate you are towards your craft. It pays to find inspiration everyday. You might want to carry a notebook with you around and write ideas for a great album. You can also look for potential talents in your area and ask them if they are interested in putting together an EP.
With all the technology we have, it’s possible to build a successful career in the music business. You just have to stay focused and hungry for opportunities.